Thursday, May 26, 2011

MLS Mid-Week Recap

Mid week games are always fun for the fans, more soccer means more fun. Some teams lament them because of rest and travel preceding weekend games. Can’t blame them there. Last night though fans were treated to some fun games.

New York Red Bulls 2, Colorado Rapids 2

In what was easily the most exciting match of the night, four goals were scored in six minutes. The defending champions arrived in New York to take on the Red Bulls who played their last game before losing a healthy portion of starters to the Gold Cup. Jeff Larentowicz scored off his own PK which was saved by Greg Sutton to start the scoring off. The PK was earned by a phantom foul  but no one in a Rapids jersey complained. New York struck right back though as De Rosario played the ball across to Thierry Henry who made no mistake slotting the ball into a near empty net. With the score tied at 1-1 Jeff Larentowicz struck again on a quick free kick from distance. The ball was driven into the net as a helpless Greg Sutton never had a chance to react. Luke Rodgers came right back for the Red Bulls with a cheeky effort over the impressive Matt Pickens. Rodgers got on the end of a through ball and showed class to chip the Rapids keeper. Each team continued to press, with shots from near and far however it was the goalkeepers of both teams who played hero. Stellar saves kept the score tied at 2-2 and the 18,081 fans who made it out were treated to a fantastic match.
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LA Galaxy 1, Houston Dynamo 0

Houston arrived at the Home Depot Center to play and it was evident with their attack. However they were held scoreless and punished for a handball in the box. The Galaxy rode a Landon Donovan PK to the victory in what was classic Bruce Arena soccer. The Galaxy bunkered in on defense to protect their lead and peppered the Dynamo goal with crosses and shots from distance. The Galaxy were without David Beckham who attended a tribute match for his close friend Gary Neville. Credit Donovan Ricketts for standing firm in goal. The 14, 458 fans who came out likely went home happy with the win, but one wonders if the enjoy watching a team with so many weapons play such defensive soccer. Three points is three points though...

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Seattle Sounders 0, FC Dallas 1

FC Dallas have been coming into form despite losing their star play maker. Meanwhile the Sounders continue to be the conundrum of the league, oscillating between pure beauty and futile efforts in attack. Early in the match Brek Shea ran on to a through ball and placed the ball past Kasey Keller to put FC Dallas up 1-0. It was this score that held on for the entire match as FC Dallas bunkered down and held on as the Sounders assaulted Kevin Hartman’s goal. It was all for  not and FC Dallas left Seattle with all three points on the road. Sounders fans have to be worried…again. For all the attacking players, chances and shots on frame they continue to struggle. The game was played in front of over 36,000 cheering Seattle fans. Always nice to see that.

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What were your thoughts on the night? Seems like several of the league powers employ some very different tactics. New York fans always seem to get impressive attack, but the wins arent coming. Galaxy faithful see their team win, but they never know who will show up. The team that wins 4-1 or 1-0? I'm in the camp that says wins are wins. Credit FC Dallas for the away win and pity those Sounders fans who support their team which never seems to live up to their potential.

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